GU’s Clark Kent offers a race day plan

October 11, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Nutrition Plan – Ironman World Championships, Kona, Hawaii

10:00 Finishing Goal

By Reid Swanson

This is the nutrition plan I’ll use for competing in the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in a goal time of 10 hours.  I plan on consuming 3,000 calories during the race.  I will burn 5,000 calories during the race.

I juggle the demands of family (I’m a husband and new father), work (I work 40+ hours a week at GU Energy Labs) and triathlon training on a daily basis.  I have been fortunate to race at 10 different Ironman events in the last 10 years all over North America and will incorporate some learning’s from those events into this plan.

Like a race plan a nutrition plan should answer how do I fuel?  I ask myself “How do I GU?”  I plan on consuming a combination of liquid and gels thorough out the course of the race.  It should go without saying but the 3 disciplines in a triathlon play a major factor in when and how I can consume calories.   Hot weather and high wind at Ironman Hawaii will require more calories and more conscious thought to the importance of a nutrition plan.

I think of my nutrition plan as a fueling plan with several ‘tank’ that I have to keep from running empty.  Three major tanks I am thinking about are calories, electrolytes, water.  Tanks can run down but they can never run empty.  If anyone fuel source goes too low it will cost me later down the road.

Early morning race day– 280 calories

  • 1 serving oatmeal
  • 1 bagel
  • 2 bottles Electrolyte Brew Tablets

Pre race – 300 calories

  • 1 bottle Roctane Drink
  • 1 Roctane Gel
  • 1 serving chomps

Swim start to transition 1 (2.4 miles)

Race plan – As triathletes we are told that the race can’t be won in the swim but it can be lost.  Lesson is “don’t overdo it, don’t fight, stay smart.”  Quality of swimmers at Kona should be the strongest field I have ever swam with, I hope to use the strength of the field to pull me quickly and safely through the swim portion of the race.  I hope to settle into a pack of similar swimmers and pace for a great day.  Strong and steady achieves the goal.

Nutrition plan – Because the first hour of the race it is not feasible to eat or drink I will need to take my calories in prior to the start.

Estimated duration 1:00 hours

Transition 1 to Airport (16 miles)

Race plan – Don’t over do it early.  There are lots of turns, lots of cheering, and lots of stimulus through the first section of the race.  Remind myself it is a long day and we are just getting started.  Strong and steady in the mantra.

Nutrition plan – Because I was unable to eat or drink during the swim, I am already 1 hour behind the fueling plan.  Use this first hour on the bike to catch up on the fuel plan.  Look to eat and drink on any straight away.

  • 2 serving Strawberry chomps
  • 1 Vanilla GU gel
  • 1 bottle Roctane Drink
  • 1 bottle electrolyte drink
  • 2 GU Electrolyte caplets (2 per hour)

Estimated duration 1:15 hours, 450 calories and 2 full bottles

Airport to Hawi (44 miles, mile markers 16 to 60)

Race plan – Effort level should remain controlled and heart rate low.  Wind and heat are expected to intensify.  I am ready for all elements.  It was part of the plan.  Strong and steady.

Nutrition plan – Fueling throughout the early portion of the bike will set me up for success later in the race.  Take calories, electrolytes and fluids in consistently and steady.

  • 2 serving Strawberry chomps
  • 2 Roctane Energy Gels
  • 3 bottle electrolyte drink
  • 4 GU Electrolyte caplets (2 per hour)

Estimated duration 1:30-1:45 hours, 450 calories

Hawi to Transition 2 (52 miles, mile markers 60 to 112)

Race plan – Heat will intensify.  Wind may turn to tail wind.  Hope for the best plan for the most challenging.  If wind and heat intensify, remember that it is affecting everyone.  I remind myself that I do better in the wind than most athletes on course.  I am ready for all elements.  Ironman does not start until mile 80 on the bike (prior to the 80 mile mark it is just a warm up).  Strong and steady.

Nutrition plan – Pick up special needs bag at mile 60.  Key items in special needs bag is Roctane Drink.  On course drink does not agree with my stomach so picking up my own drink is important.  This section of the race is critical to my nutrition plan and will lead to my ability to have a good run later in the day.  Take calories, electrolytes and fluids in consistently and steady.

  • 2 serving Strawberry chomps
  • 2 Roctane Energy Gels
  • 2 bottles Roctane Energy Drink
  • 3 bottle electrolyte drink
  • 4 GU Electrolyte caplets (2 per hour)

Estimated duration 2:45-3:00 hours, 900 calories

Transition 2 to Palani Hill (10 miles)

Race plan –Pace will likely be race pace plus 1:30 minutes per mile slower than goal pace.  Give extra time to adjust to demands of course and heat.  Goal is to be running through the race.  Heat will intensify.  Strong and steady.

Nutrition plan – Key for me early in the run is hydration and electrolytes.

  • 1 bottles Roctane Energy Drink
  • 1 bottle electrolyte drink
  • Ample water
  • 2 GU Electrolyte caplets (2 per hour)

Estimated duration 1:15-1:30 hours, 250 calories

Palani Hill to Natural Energy Lab (7.5 miles, mile markers 10 to 18.5)

Race plan –This is where race gets tough.  It is easier to run than it is to walk so keep running.

Nutrition plan – Take calories, electrolytes and fluids in consistently and steady.

  • 1 Roctane Energy Gels
  • 1 bottles Roctane Energy Drink
  • 1 bottle electrolyte drink
  • Ample water
  • 2 GU Electrolyte caplets (2 per hour)

Estimated duration 1:10 hours, 350 calories

Natural Energy Lab to finish (7.7 miles, mile markers 18.5 to finish)

Race plan –Goal is to be running through the race.  Heat will intensify.  Strong and steady.

Nutrition plan – Take calories, electrolytes and fluids in consistently and steady.

  • 1 Roctane Energy Gels
  • 1 bottles Roctane Energy Drink
  • 1 bottle electrolyte drink
  • Ample water
  • 3 GU Electrolyte caplets (2 per hour)

Estimated duration 1:10-1:30 hours, 350 calories

Finish Line Recovery Plan

Keep walking and moving.  My body will want to shut down but the best recovery is to keep the blood flowing and start the recovery process.  Find family and friends, appreciate accomplishment well deserved.

Nutrition plan – GU Brew Recovery Drink and lots of water

About the Author (Author Profile)

GU Energy Labs is the parent company of the Roctane Ultra Endurance brand. GU Energy developed Roctane as the performance energy choice for ultra endurance athletes. The first Roctane Energy Gel was designed and tested 6-7 years ago by athletes competing in the Hard Rock 100 Ultra Marathon trail run who needed a portable, efficient and effective energy source for an event that can last over 24 hours. Since then GU Energy Labs has continued to work with these same ultra endurance athletes to develop and expand the product lineup so athletes can continue to go fast and far.
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